Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 924 – Sunday 22nd January to Saturday 28th January 2017

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 924 – Sunday 22nd January to Saturday 28th January 2017

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It’s becoming a regular occurrence in our intros to publish newly announced gig dates, and this issue’s intro is no different.

Over the past few days the band have added further dates to their ever-growing list of 2017 live performances, with Kent County Showground on the 12th of August and Hardwick Hall on the 18th.

We also understand that shortly before the band’s Blues Festival appearance at Byron Bay, Australia, on the 16th April there may be a reason to be mad in Melbourne! We don’t have anything concrete to report, but if this and any other down-under dates do come to fruition we’ll let you know.

Now, on with the issue.

Enjoy the read!

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams




See below for all forthcoming Madness and Madness related gigs and events. If there’s something we’ve missed off or you feel should be added then please let us know.



April 2017 – The Overseas Leg

Monday 3rd – Ex Theatre, Tokyo, Japan

Thursday 6th – Hong Kong, China, Rugby Seven’s Opening Concert.

Sunday 16th – Byron Bay, Australia  http://www.bluesfest.com.au/schedule/detail.aspx?ArtistID=873


May 2017 –  Back in the UK 

Friday 19th – Wirral Live, Tranmere Rovers stadium, Birkenhead



Sunday 28th – Bearded Theory Spring Gathering, (Pallet stage headline), Derbyshire


June 2017 – The Cornish Leg

Friday 16th – Eden Sessions, Eden Project, st Austell, Cornwall ** SOLD OUT **


July 2017

Saturday 29th July, Camp Bestival – Headliners


August 2017

Thursday 3rd – Scarborough Open Air Theatre
Saturday 5th – Lytham Festival, Lancashire
Saturday 12th – Kent County Showground


Friday 18th – Hardwick Hall


Friday 25th – Portsmouth – Victorious Festival Opening Party


Monday 28th – House of Common, Clapham ** Not on Sale Yet ** Announced in the current tour programme booklet as happening again


November 2017

17th – 20th November – The House of Fun Weekender – Minehead



The Clang Band

Thursday 19th January, The Islington, Islington




Madness – New Album – You Can’t Touch Us Now 

** OUT NOW! **

16 Track CD, 12 Track Vinyl

30 Track Box Set Edition (with demos) ** SOLD OUT **


Total Madness Cherry Red Vinyl ** Out 17th Feb **

180 gram vinyl, gatefold sleeve. Limited edition: only 2,000 copies being released.

More info at: http://www.musiconvinyl.com/catalog/madness/total-madness#more



The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra – Bite The Bullet ** OUT NOW **

Vinyl £13.55  (Includes free mp3 version)

CD £11.37 (includes free mp3 version)

Mp3 album also available on its own for £7.99



Rhoda Dakar – The LoTek Four Volume 1. ** OUT NOW **


  1. Fill The Emptiness (Lovers)
  2. Tears You Can’t Hide
  3. You Talking To Me?
  4. Dolphins
  5. Fill The Emptiness (Reefa)



It’s always nice to see our favourite band in the press, so below are just a few of the articles featuring Madness that have appeared over the past few weeks…

Madness are Coming to Kent This Summer

The iconic band Madness will perform at the Kent County Showground

Iconic British pop band Madness are going to perform in Kent this summer.

The band will be coming to Kent County Showground in Detling to perform their biggest hits, as well as tunes from their new album Can’t Touch Us Now on August 12, 2017.

From Camden in London, the band formed in 1976 and achieved huge success in the 1980s. Their biggest hits include House of Fun, Baggy Trousers and Wings of a Dove – and fans can expect to dance to all of them at the performance in Detling.

Full article at: http://www.kentlive.news/madness-are-coming-to-kent-this-summer/story-30059554-detail/story.html


Ska Band Madness will Play gig to Kick off Return of Hardwick Live Festival

One of the most famous ska bands of the 70s and 80s will play a one-off gig at a local hotel this summer.

Madness is taking to the stage at Hardwick Hall Hotel on August 18.

And their appearance will set the stage for the return of music festival Hardwick Live the following day.

The group is heading to the region as part of a world tour which will see them appear as far afield as Australia and Singapore, performing some of their major hits from the past right up to their most recent releases.

Full article at: http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife-news/ska-band-madness-play-gig-12476022




Happy new year to all the Mis-online readers from the French-Mis. Please find below, a Chris Foreman interview released in January 2017.

French readers can find the French version at http://french-mis.be news section.

Enjoy !

JP Boutellier for the French-Mis

Le French-Mis : “Madness is on tour now. What are your impressions of this tour ? You have change the track list with some songs the band never play since a long time. Why this choice of tracks (cardiac arrest, Yesterday’s Men for exemple) ?”

Chris Foreman : I did most of the set list. I was very tired of playing “Bed and Breakfast Man”, “Shut Up” and “Take it Or Leave it” par example..I wanted to put as many new songs from the new album in the set. In previous years we would maybe do 3 new songs a night and change the 3 new ones every show. I thought it better to have the same set every night. So the band know all the songs, the lighting man the sound man and so on.

Le French-Mis : Have you some plans to play in France in 2017 ? Madness concerts in a hall or Madness on French Festivals like “Rock en Seine” ???

Chris Foreman : I think we will retour to la belle France mais ouis!

Le French-Mis : It was the first time ever that Madness recorded an album without Carl. What are the difference to record with and without Carl ?

Chris Foreman : We just got on with it. We wrote the songs and last year on the “Grandslam” tour we played them in rotation [as I mentioned above]. The actual recording process was very quick tres vitesse toute suite.

Le French-Mis : Talk Us about your work on this album :

Chris Foreman : I did my best and I made sure the guitar was loud in the mixes!

Le French-Mis : When have you wrote the track “Can’t Touch us Now” with Lee. In the early 90’s “Crunch” Era ? You play mellotron on it ! A good experience ?

Chris Foreman : Not really. It had to go back to the person we hired it from, so I didn’t actually do the bits I wanted to do. It was a fantastic device though. It has long strips of tape [like a K7] that have the sounds on. I wanted the string sounds. All you hear on that track was me mucking about at the beginning haha. It is also on “Blackbird’ just some low string sounds in the verses. I wrote the song a very long time ago with Lee and we presented it to the band who all liked it

Le French-mis : About “Grandslam”, can you talk us about this song.

Chris Foreman : I said to Suggs “I want to write a SKA song that is also like James Bond”. I think I managed it.

Le French-Mis : I think Blackbird is a important track for you.

Chris Foreman : It talk about an Icon, Amy Winehouse I wrote the music and sent it to Suggs. His lyrics really fit the music. He saw her once or twice and they spoke a little. It’s very sad that she died so young

Le French-Mis : “Catch You Crying” sound make me feel about The Madness 1987 / 1988 era… What do you think about this ? It was a track wrote a long time ago with Lee ?

Chris Foreman : Oh yeah, years ago. It was supposed to be like Roxy Music and I never thought it could be a Madness song. I was intending it for Lee and me. Anyway he turned up with a good vocal version and everyone liked it. Very hard to record, I used a drum machine and shall we say a few people didn’t think it would be any good..

Le French-mis : talk us about your great work on “You Are My Everything”… A Chrissy boy “Guitar Festival ”

Chris Foreman : Merci. We recorded a very good demo of this way back before I think the Norton album maybe even earlier before “Wonderful”. So I had all the guitar parts ready. I did a really good solo using the wah wah pedal but I couldn’t find it when we mixed the song!

Le French-Mis : Given The Opportunity was the only song with “Grandslam” having a Ska tempo. it is important for you to have some ska rhythm on a Madness album ?

Chris Foreman : Yes but we were never a %100 SKA band. The “One Step Beyond” album has “Rockin in Ab”, “Razorblade Alley”, “In the Middle of the Night” “Bed & Breakfast Man”. I would not say they are SKA. Anyway – songs just come the way we write them. I think “Mumbo Jumbo” is quite SKA influenced too

Le French-Mis : What are your best moment on studio for this album ? Recording, mixing ?

Chris Foreman : It was all very enjoyable. Mixing a bit stressful.

Le French-Mis : Which is the most touching moment on the album? Pam The Hawk ?

Chris Foreman : Yes that’s a lovely song, very sad. Suggs writes really good lyrics vignettes

Le French-Mis : With hindsight, is what you regret something on this disc ?

Chris Foreman : A couple of mixing things, some bits of guitar I missed out but overall it’s a great album I am very proud of the whole thing.

Le French-Mis : Can you talk me about the equipment you use on this album and on stage :

Chris Foreman : I used a Gibson SG, a Fender Telcaster American Standard with Humbuckers and a Gretsch Electromatic with Bigsby plus a Marshall JCM 900 series amp. Toerag studios had loads of fuzz pedals and Liam Watson gets great sounds

Le French-Mis : The are several moods on this album. It was a desire to make a varied mood album. A bit of doing the opposite of a concept album ?

Chris Foreman : There was no plan we just kept writing songs every day

Le French-Mis : Some fans expected more “speed tempo” songs (speed tempo like “Baggy Trousers” or “One Step Beyond”). What can you respond to them ?

Chris Foreman : It’s very hard to do that. I think the closest is “Mumbo Jumbo”

Le French-Mis : About the Deluxe version. Can you introduce us the people who create “the greatest show on earth”

Chris Foreman : Not sure who they are!

Le French-Mis : The bonus Cd on it was a good idea, but some fans expected more like a can of Madness beer inside or some live on cd or DVD, or for exemple a bonus CD “best of” Chrissy Boy’s Showtimes…. Not enought time to put more things on this Deluxe ?

Chris Foreman : One thing I insisted on was we used ALL the songs we recorded, so none left for bonus discs etc. We had 16 songs. The first two albums were 14 songs and we had enough good songs. I would have liked to put a DVD in there but we had to have it ready for release very quick..

Le French-Mis : Madness release “real” video clips from “CTUN”. Fans are very happy.

Chris Foreman : I had the idea for the “Mr. Apples” video with Lee as “Mr.Apples”. We had fun making the video, the first “real’ one for many years.

Le French-Mis : Lots of fans can’t go to The House Of Fun weekender. Not enough time, not enough money, leaving too far etc… have you some plans to release a box set with some concerts of the HOF on CD and / or DVD ?

Chris Foreman : No because that is a special thing for the people that come to see us only.

Le French-Mis : Have you some plans to release a deluxe version of “The Madness” album ? Universal have some rights from EMI / Virgin catalogue, the band have a deal with Universal, perhaps it could help ?

Chris Foreman : No plans as it’s still in limbo, so Union Square cannot do anything but a good point no we are on Universal…

Le French-Mis : Live and on radio sessions, Madness played some covers version like “Kooks” and “Sunny Afternoon”. It’s just for fun or have you a plan to release in the near future a “Dangermen Sessions Volume 2”?

Chris Foreman : I wouldn’t be bothered, I prefer that we write our own songs

Le French-Mis : 2019 is in a near future. Have you some plans to release something special for the 40th anniversary of the first Madness record ?

Chris Foreman : Yes I would like to do something special, it’s not far off really.

Le French-Mis : I saw some fans on internet talking about this 40th anniversary and they have some ideas : the same studio, the same staff (Langer / Winstanley / Robinson), the same line-up, 1979 similar instruments (including Vox Continental)… A good idea ?

Chris Foreman : No. Ha ha we just did that, in a way. With Clive in a small studio, using old instruments.

Le French-Mis : Some words about Gary Dovey, Rico, John Bradbury, Prince Buster…

Chris Foreman : With Garry and Brad , it was a shock, as they were quite young. Garry I had not seen for some time as he lived in the USA. From time to time I’d see him and I was in touch via Facebook. Brad also I had not seen for a long time but I used to hang out with him and his wife in the 80’s. Very sad. Rico and Buster I knew they were not in good health. I used to see Rico every now and then, he was very funny man. He remembered me [and Madness] from the 2Tone tour. Prince Buster, was a great inspiration to Madness in so many ways. Sad indeed.

Le French-Mis : thank you very much to reply to our questions. Pour finir, je vous laisse terminer par un message en français pour vos fans francophones !

Chris Foreman : Mon plaisir sorry I was so plus tard Christophe J Foreman 2017

Interview released by JP Boutellier for the French-Mis, january 2017




This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby, goes back in time to report on what was going on in the world of Madness 5 years, 10 and 15 years ago this week.

5 years ago…

Issue Number 663 – Sunday 22nd January – Saturday 28th January 2012

With such a packed issue or intro for this week was limited to a mere hello before we moved straight on to the articles.

We kicked these off with a report from Jonathan Young, who had the privilege of joining Lee Thompson’s Ska Orchestra in the studio, as they went through the final mixing of their debut album. Our esteemed Mr. Young got the chance to talk with Lee about the forthcoming Mexico and US gigs, the Specialized project, and the new Madness songs.

Next, it was over to Leah Rix, who kindly brought us an interview with Chrissy Boy taken from her magazine created for a Media Course assignment. This had previously appeared in Chris’ cupboard. In the interview Chris revealed which of the new songs he liked the best (answer: Doolally), his opinions of fellow band mates, the year of his life he’d like to re-live, and much more besides. There were some great questions and answers – much more interesting than the majority of interviews you’d see in the mainstream press.

Moving on, and it was over to the Oxford Press who, upon reporting on Suggs’ One Man Show, asked the man himself if his family had seen the show. Suggs responded;

“Yes, I tested it in a pub in Islington for a few weeks and my kids, wife and mum came and it went down well. For me, it was terrifying but there were tears and laughter and they liked it. I think they were just amazed I could remember it, to be honest”

Elsewhere, and with the York Press covering Suggs’ One Man Show, we included their interview with Mr. McPherson…

The band would rehearse six days week, a schedule that clashed with Suggs’s football habit. “I got thrown out of the band for nearly a year because I used to go off and watch Chelsea on a Saturday afternoon,” he says. 

“Then I saw an advert in Melody Maker that said, ‘Semi-professional North London band need professionally minded singer’, and then Mike’s number underneath! So I rang it, put on a voice and asked what had happened to the previous singer, and Mike said, ‘He had an attitude problem so we had to let him go’!” 

Suggs was later allowed to return to the fold and the rest is history. “From the very beginning we were often seen as a joke but we actually worked very hard and each thing that came along, I grabbed very hard,” he says. 

For our next article we went back to Leah Rix, who this time had kindly let us include her interview with Bedders’ stand-in Bushers. This also formed part of a magazine created as part of her media course assignment.

Next-up, we had a small article as Jonathan reported that on the 14th February the Near Jazz Experience would be performing at Indo from 8:30pm.

We brought this issue of the MIS to a close with some heartwarming news. The church which Suggs was married in had been closed for two decades after falling into disrepair. Following a massive restoration project the first service since 1991 would be held on the 29th January. The  £100,000 refurbishment was made possible by the Church Conservation Trust.

10 years ago…

Issue 403 – Sunday 21st January to Saturday 27th January 2007

The rumours continued to pour in, but we were still no closer to finding out if Madness were going to appear at this year’s Glastonbury Festival or not.

While we all waited for an official answer, Chris Carter-Pegg took us on a journey of the evidence so far.

  1. Direct confirmation on the Xmas Tour from Madness’ management that talks were taking place with the Glastonbury organisers.
  2. Complete denial from a member of Madness that they will be playing Glastonbury as they haven’t been asked…mind you he did add that the line up hadn’t been finalised yet.
  3. Rumours growing on Glastonbury fan sites and message boards that Madness are tipped to be playing.
  4. Reports on various festival websites that discussions have been taking place between Glastonbury organisers and Madness.
  5. Madness listed as ‘strong rumour’ on www.efestivals.co.uk. After the official Glastonbury site, this website is perhaps the most highly regarded having been the original host of the Glastonbury website from 1998 and now one of the leading authorities for festival info. Previous years have proven that their ‘rumours’ list is often quite accurate.

Chris finished by pointing out that as with all these things, nothing could be relied on until it was officially confirmed, and it was a pity that Glastonbury only announce their line-up once tickets have gone on sale.

It was over to MIS subscriber Dermot for the next article. Bored as he was on a Monday at work, he decided to produce a mass of stats, facts and figures covering the recent Christmas tour. Dermot had listed each track, and had detailed the number of times each one was played, and what venues.

The track played the least was “You Keep Me Hanging on”, which only aired at Brixton, Newcastle, Birmingham and Wembley.

The second series of Disappearing London continued this week with the second episode. This saw Suggs visiting a long running old style Pie and Mash shop in the Capital. Something we weren’t aware still existed in this fast food globalized age of McDonalds vs Subway. Suggs helped make the hand made pies out the back in the old style kitchen and we got to meet 2 OAP customers who must have been thriving on these pies all their life. Suggs didn’t like the fact that the apron was in arsenal colours but got stuck in generation game style as an amateur pastry chef.

Having visited an old style hat shop in series one this time it was a hand made shoe stores turn to be in the spotlight and again it was fascinating to know that a handful (or a footful) of these shops still exist making quality hand made shoe to fit people exact foot, we learned how it was done, how skilled it was and how expensive the finished quality product was.

From shoegazing to stargazing as Suggs visited a small observatory in Hampstead at the highest point above sea level in the capital, (at least without going inside buildings that is) to use the telescope there and discover the history of this amateur astronomers club which was sadly in need of young blood to keep it going into the future.

Was passed things over to Graham Yates for our next article, as he reported on various Madness and Ska tracks appearing on episodes of Shameless and Eastenders over the past couple of weeks.

We brought this issue to a close by taking a look at a selection of the latest posts to appear on the official Madness Messageboard.

15 years ago…

Issue 141 – Sunday 20th January to Saturday 26th January 2002

We started this issue off by revealing that Suggs had made the top ten again, but this time he’d charted in the latest edition of The Guiness Book of Hit Singles.

However, the main news this week came in from Becky Lane and Lee Swandale who announced that ‘Like Father, Like Son’, with no further gigs planned, and a number of band members now off pursuing their own things, had effectively split. Swanny commented that;

“I’m told that because of college, one or two of the songs they won’t be able to play very often. 

I do believe that it’s just a temporary bit of  fun for them all”.

With a new year well and truly open us, Madness Tribute outfit, Los Palmas 6 were kind enough to write in with an update, announcing a forthcoming Scottish tour, new live video and CD.

News also reached us this week that a selection of around 8,000 stories and poems, submitted from as far as Latvia and Namibia, have been chosen for paid publication in a national magazine alongside work by luminaries such as Robert Rankin and, er, Suggs, from Madness.

We were able to dig the story out for publication in this issue of the MIS, but had to give it some heavy use of the asterisk key, such was the use of ‘fruity’ language.

Being a tad short on news items this week we decided to put together a list of all the major official, Club, tribute and Madness fan sites.

Looking back at the list now, we’re wondering how many are still there, and of the ones that still have a presence, how many of those are updated.

The issue finished off with an official announcement from Chas Smash’s new record label RGR (Rolled Gold Records), where we were given a list of potential artists to look forward to.

Rob Hazelby




That’s just about it for this week, but before we finish there’s one final snippet to pass in your general direction.

Last week we urged you to check out the YouTube channel of The Bed and Breakfast Men. This week we’re suggesting that those of you who who use Twitter may want to sign-up to their Twitter feed. While you’ll receive the odd tweet from the boys detailing what Madness track they’ve been working on, it’s actually the re-tweets that really make their account worth following.

We’re not sure how many Madness related accounts they follow, but it must be a fair number as their retweets are always interesting and informative.

Check out their Twitter feed: @BandBMen

Until next week, take care!

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to JP Boutellier of The French MIS team)

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